Monday, May 30, 2011

Observations on a Humid Morning

It's nearly the last day of May, and already we're getting temperatures in the mid 90s.  I know, some of you are living where mid 90s is a cold snap.

It's mid 90s and about 115% humidity.  During the night, the temperature might cool to the mid 70s.  When there's so much moisture in the air that it just doesn't radiate its heat to outer space like it ought to, the air doesn't cool much.  And those of you with mid 100s temperatures, you're also usually blessed with temps overnight down in the 50s.  You have a little respite, you can put a fan in the window.  Around here, not so much.  The fan just stirs the warm, moist air around.

So now the sun is up and the mercury is headed further into the upper half of the thermometer.  Chores still have to get done.  I have to mow some of the properties, and if I wait it just gets hotter.  Not any drier, just hotter.  Try to mow too soon and the grass is still damp with dew, and even so it doesn't matter what I do - I'm going to wind up sweating buckets before all's done.

My wife asked me if I wanted to move to a cooler state.  Well, no.  I mean, I could see doing that but she would be dreadfully uncomfortable.  She really comes alive at around 80 degrees and 90% humidity.  But let the temperature get much cooler than 65 degrees and she stiffens up, wraps herself with every unoccupied jacket in the house, and curls around a hot cup of cocoa.  So as much as I might like being someplace cooler, I couldn't tolerate taking her someplace even colder than here.  So that's off the table.  We went to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky a few years ago; the weather was very cool but dry at home when we left, but when we arrived in Louisville the temperatures were noticeably cooler and there was snow on the ground.  Sweetie shuddered when she first saw the snow.  If we moved someplace cooler, she'd be shuddering all the time, and I don't want that.

Humans evolved in hotter climes than this.  I can deal.  It probably won't kill me.

One useful thing the hot climate does do is this: it forces me to make careful use of my time.  You can't just take things as they come when the weather gets like it is, you schedule carefully.  Outdoor stuff happens quickly, and the things you can do indoors waits until afternoon, when the temperature outside is just too uncomfortable.  So if you have to change oil on a truck or clean out gutters, first thing in the morning out you go to get it done before the sun gets well and truly overhead.  Then you shelter indoors and do whatever else is needful.  Winter is the opposite, it's extra cold in the morning so stay inside.  You get the idea.

Well, that's enough agonizing over minutiae for the moment.

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